Amma’s Gospel

Amma’s Gospel

Rajender Krishan. Setu Publications, USA. Pp. 170. ASIN: B08LSYFLNA. Price Rs. 700/-

A book review of “Amma’s Gospel”

By Ansulika Paul

Rajender Krishan (aka Raj Chowdhry) from New York, USA is the founder and editor of literary website since 1999. His new collection “Amma’s Gospel” contains poems that were inferred and captured from the flow of the therapeutic response that came once he invoked his grandmother, wondering how she would have handled the uncertainty and tragedy caused by the pandemic Corona.

The book is a tribute to the generation passed and a treasure to the generation ahead. Sarvatma bhava is the fragrance that effervescently smothers through the beginning and the end of the book. One could see the love Amma ji spells in her teachings and the love stored enough, in the poet to recreate Amma’s Gospel on paper.
In a world of multiple complications, detangling the life one lives into a bond of universal love and grace imprints the title to the fullest truth.

The invocation to the book is the first print of manifesting Indian culture. The sacred word “Om”.

Primordial energy
The sound of silence

The Only Verse
Manifesting eternally
The Universe
( 33)

“Namaste” the beginning of all human dealings in the world. The beginning of the humanly language; the give and take of being alive.

Salutations to the One
That pervades the entire Cosmos

As I honor that space in thee
Where dwells
The very Cause of Life
We hear together
The symphony playing the notes
Of love, light, truth, harmony
In our throbbing hearts’ solitude
Vibrating and enriching
Humility, compassion, fortitude
( 35)

The poem “Amma ji” introduces Amma to the world. The one who created this gospel in her knowing and being.

Amma, had faced the colonial
subjugation and suppression;
finally gained independence
only to become a refugee,
a migrant in her own country
in the post-partitioned India
( 37)

The poem “Greetings” is like dos’ of the culture one inherits, starting with simple gestures as a greeting.

Amma always said:

Every time whoever you meet
Remember to always greet
With a smiling face
And folded hands
( 39)

The question-answer session in the poems is like a modern, forgetful youth in conversation with the epitome of cultural inheritance “Amma ji”.

The prologue to every poem is an obligation to living an enlightened life.

Love yourself
By being true to yourself
Be not in haste to react
First anticipate then contemplate
then respond
Follow the right path
Be happy
Be successful
( 41)

Prakriti, Purusha, Maya, the cycle of birth and death – are poems to understand the ultimate truth and inculcating gyana by awakening the gyani.

The poem “Quest” is a lyrical description to attaining salvation and the ultimate wisdom.

All conceptual debates
Of birth, death, cycles, salvation
Known and unknown
Will adjourn and merge
In the abyss of silence
( 59)

The poem “Amma” sings the intricacies Amma taught.

Amma’s parathas:
An unforgettable taste
reminding to chew good
not to be eaten in haste

A verse in the same poem beautifully depicts the paradox of being alive.

Amma’s mysticism:
Death is inevitable
sleep with gratitude
for the ultimate dawn
( 66)

The Gospel starts with the generation of Amma ji nurturing and passing on the wisdom to the next generation through a mere daily course of conversation. Further the Gospel redirects its wisdom to the now, next generation through a poetic bouquet of words.

The poet lends a helping hand as suggested in the poem “Destination”. A helping hand that is full of true love and motivation to the generation next through this book called “Amma’s Gospel”.

Impose not on your children
your footprints, rules and criterion
simply lend them
a helping hand
that’s full of true love and motivation

As the poems read, in the beginning it is Amma ji and later her grandson she nurtured as a poet in her life and beyond that is radiating through a collection of poems in this book.
It is a book of wisdom to the young, the growing and the grown. A book transcripting Indian culture and wisdom with a a modernistic approach. A book that could qualify as a text book opted by educational institutions. This book has the power to motivate and redirect a lost soul towards the Supreme. It is an anthology of wisdom for every wise soul.
The poem “Renunciation” aptly sings,

Accepting with gratitude
whatever life bequeaths
to become burden free
of all likes and dislikes
( 149)

Every poem is a step closer to being alive, being free, rather to just be.

The poem “Today” ,is a revelation of the power of now.

Bequeathing one more
opportunity to appreciate
what is now before us
( 93)

A similar interface is created in the poem “The Present”.

Transcend the limits;
eliminate the shadows
and experience
Now as Eternity…

The poem “Now” affirms the same truth with a play of words.

Life is effectively lived
learning, good or bad,
from the past
and either worrying
or dreaming about
the distant future
( 97)

Poems like “Shiva” and “Gurdwara” are a lyrical offering to the Supreme.

Images rivaling
Forces opposing
Typify diversity
Coexisting alive by
The union divine of
The dancing Nataraja
( 89)

The poem “Nature” signifies the mysticism and the leela.

Love and hate
heaven and hell
joy and sorrow
birth and death …
as the obverse and reverse
of the same coin

“The Mystic” is a further elaboration of leela and the evolution of a karma yogi.

Desire compels learning
to accumulate something;
The mystic by unlearning
evolves to arrive at nothing
( 115)

The definition of one who interacts with the world is well crafted in the poem “Impetus”.

Recognizing such impetus,
one who doesn’t get daunted, but
accepts the surfacing challenges
and strives dedicatedly
to overcome the obstacles,
is actually the true Karma Yogi
. ( 117)

A life lesson to the Karma yogi can be mediated by one in the poem “Life” with an extended list of connotations.

Contemplate and transcend
by discovering
the essence of Life

“Transient” is the song of Pancha Bhoota which creates the Bhutakasha.

So, all that exists
is an experience of
the forever changing body
of Life itself in transit
( 123)

One could find a generational depiction of surrender from Amma ji’s time to the time of the poet. It is the same surrender ever always needed with a different play of words in both the poems “Independence” and “Amma ji”.

Surrender in all humility
to the Witness within
the only Sovereign
unperturbed and carefree
as the eternal concept
of independence

she would assert confidently:
“The One that is always with me
Have no doubt, That One Knows”
( 37)

The poems “Maya” and “Leela” arithmetically strike the same cord of mysticism.

What was not
but is
and will not be
. ( 133)

Who is in control of this phenomenon?
The Master Puppeteer!
Invisible and mysterious,
as if nowhere,
while effectively being now here,
always within
from birth to death
( 43)

Nirvana personified in a leaf is an exemplary piece of art created in the poem “Leaf”.

Is this dissolution
Death or Life?
Perhaps, the path
that we seek … Nirvana
( 135)

“Detachment” the only ingredient required to stir in the seeker, seeking Nirvana.

Whatever that blueprint may be,
accept with gratitude and humility
execute and grow with it in harmony
for the Karmic dynamism
needs to remain carefree
( 137)

The poem “Heaven and Hell” is a yearning to the Mahavakyas: Tat tvam Asi (You are that).

Both heaven and hell
are echoes and images
revealing the temperament
of one’s own persona
( 139)

“Purpose” is a poem on sowing the karmic seed.

Plausibly, the cause itself
genetically engineers
and begets the path

That gets invariably opted
for better or worse
as the karmic seed
( 147)

“Renunciation” unfolds the vacation of life reaching eternity.

One, fearless of any loss
or worrisome of any gain
immerses in pure relaxation,
until the vacation is over
( 149)

“Amma’s Gospel is a gospel, a gift to humanity, a treasure that Amma ji sprouted forth for generations to enrich.

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Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul

Ansulika Paul is a poet, author, researcher and filmmaker. She is a filmmaker by heart and a film critic by words.


  1. Prof. Laksmisree Banerjee on March 7, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Poetry imbued with true knowledge and eternal values learnt from our earlier generations…….the Human Mother coalescing with the Mother Earth and Cosmic Consciousness.

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